18 Conventional and not really… ways to visit an Art Museum (aka the V&A)

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the largest museum of decorative and applied arts in the world. The collections are stunning and they span such a range of cultures, so everyone can find something of interest as well as get lost or bored of the amount of art around.

I spent quite some time at the museum running my creative workshops, plus, some research, and here is my list of possible ways of visiting the V&A.

1. To explore art on your own with/without a map

In this category there are many options:

  • To tick the box as you have never been to the V&A before;
  • To refresh the memory as you have been there AGES ago;
  • You are a self-guided independent tourist;
  • You went for a specific amazing exhibition (they are always amazing there!);
  • You are an artist/designer/writer/poet or you always dreamt to become one or simply need some creative energy so you came to spend some time on your own around art and beauty.

2. On a tour to learn about art

  • With a budget, so you got your private guided tour with “now look here and there” talks;
  • Without a budget, so you went for a V&A group tour (Daily Introductory Tour, Medieval and Renaissance Tour, Britain 1500–1900 Tour, Europe 1600–1815 Tour, Theatre & Performance Tour).

3. ‘Express Museums’ package

Your friends / parents / “God knows from where” cousins (the list is endless..) arrived and it is your duty to show around the capital of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In order to save time you packed as many museums and sightseeing places as possible into 1-day agenda including: V&A, Natural History and Science museums in one go.

4. Kids Back Pack

You have kids, so you and your precious one(s) came to explore the museum with a special V&A children Back Pack. Finally, you walked across the halls and had fun taking equal part in all exercises ignoring the fact that they were for kids. I do not have kids yet, so drop me a line if I can join or borrow one for a special childish museum visit :) http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/b/backpacks/

5. For an event

6. Evening visit

  • You always wanted to try a museum in the evening. You imagined exploring art with a glass of wine. So you came in full of expectations, bought your booze and found out that you were not allowed to leave the entrance area… You emptied a plastic glass near the information desk and did your art exploration without a glass in your hand but with the expanded by alcohol art perception;
  • You always wanted to try a museum late in the evening. So you dressed up and joined the Museum last month Friday Late Night to explore art with DJ music, spacial installations and performance artists: http://www.vam.ac.uk/info/friday-late.

7. To get new art skills/knowledge

8. School program

You were “sent” on a special tour/ academic walk to explore the Museum.

9. V&A Shops

You are a museum shop lover so you adore V&A shops and never miss a chance to come in and buy another lovely “something”.

10. Grand café

You work nearby or you just heard about the V&A’s grand café so you came for lunch or afternoon tea in amazing art settings. Being the first museum in the world to provide a public restaurant, there are still the original Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms to enjoy while having your english Breakfast tea with scones.

11. John Madejski Garden

  • It is hot, sunny so you came in to refresh yourself in the Garden and put your feet in the stylish paddling pool.
  • Another possibility, that you decided to see a weird and interesting installation growing in the Garden, called Elytra Filament Pavilion. (P.S. Hurry up it is already in blossom).

12. Romantic date

You creatively approached the choice for your first date venue and went to the V&A. Good choice!

13. Urgent visit

You were nearby and sneaked in for a ladies/gentlemen room visit … you know, it happens…

14. Not an urgent but also a brief Visit

You were nearby and sneaked in for a slightly overpriced but nicely delivered in a colourful painted cup coffee.

15. Regular and long Visit

No matter sunny, rainy or snowy, you are a regular visitor, no matter what! Why? Because you work here! Good excuse to come to the museum every day.

16. Hint Hunt

You love action games, so you came for a group adventure like this one: http://games.fire-hazard.net/raiders-of-the-lost-archive.

17. Life purpose Session

You felt empty and wanted to have a more fulfilling life, so you went to a Personal life philosophy session: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/create-your-dream-lifestyle-through-art-tickets-27531846494?aff=erelpanelorg.

18. Creative Improvisation Tour

You were looking for a creative weekend experience, or to meet new people. Or you are a museum lover and wanted to visit museum differently. Or, maybe, you always dreamt to play at the museum, to create your own stories (ignoring art descriptions) and to guide your own tours. So you joined OffWeGo tour and explored the V&A interactively. For curious ones: http://bit.ly/2c7WBf6.


No matter which way you chose to visit the V&A, just visit it, it is worthy! And Off You Go to enjoy its unique art and facilities! And keep exploring and experimenting!

P.S. Have I missed anything? :)